“We’re all products of where we live. Place matters in public health. If you don’t become active in advocating for change and making that place better, you’re basically consigning everyone in that community to poor health. Roads, sidewalks, parks and access to healthy food are key factors that impact our community’s health.”
– Will Ross, MD, MPH
Resolving intractable health disparities will require academic medical centers to re-evaluate their mission and re-align their teaching, research and clinical practice agendas to achieve measurable outcomes in areas of disparities documented within their own communities.
In 2008, Washington University responded to this charge by creating the Institute for Public Health, which has a major objective of eliminating health disparities and improving measurable health outcomes through sustained community and organizational partnerships.
The Institute for Public Health and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences recently combined resources to form the Center for Community Health Partnerships and Research. The merged center aims to reduce disparities and improve health and wellness in the region by fostering communication and supporting community-academic partnerships and research endeavors.